By Nduka Orjinmo
"E get any time wey as we dey wait, you fear say di rain no go fall," I ask am.
Im raise im eye up, slow-slow, like say im neck dey heavy am.
"Mu" (me for Igbo), im tok as im use finger point im chest. "As you dey go back today, na rain go pursue you".
As im tok dat one, im come fold im hand, to signal say interview don end.
Later dat evening, as we begin drive back from Awka go Enugu, na so heavy rain begin fall. E heavy sotey we nearly park car for one side of road. Di rain fall until we reach Enugu.
Di search for rainmaker
No be today tori begin full ground of medicine men and women wey fit control weather.
Pipo dey tok say dis rainmakers na powerful pipo wey fit make rain appear and disappear.
Many pipo go tok say nobodi go fit control weather, say nobodi fit make rain fall. And di Nigerian Metrological Agency wey be di sabi pipo wey dey chook eye inside weather mata for di kontri, say nobodi fit do dat kain tin.
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Rain makers full everiwia, especially for Nigeria. Dia bizness na to 'hold rain' for pipo wey get occasion like party, burial, or even those wey wan sell market. Sometimes sef, tori be say pipo dey hire rain makers to 'make rain fall' for dia enemy event.
Some pipo believe say di whole tin na wayo, say e no dey possible for human being to fit bring rain down and even make am to stop.
Na four months e take me before I finally find rainmaker wey gree say make I come challenge am to see if true-ture, im fit bring rain down.
Wit help from some indigenes, I track Godwin Onasedu go Ifitedunu village for Dunukofia Local Goment Area for Anambra State, southeast Nigeria.
Onasedu na strong rainmaker for im village and according to wetin im tok, na wetin im family generation don dey do tey-tey.
To make di rain come down, im say we gatz bring some items:
- Two crates of beer
- One bottle of 501 gin
- Four pieces of kola nut
- 1000 naira to take break di kola
- Candles, white and red cloth for di day
Na Friday 17 August 2018 I finally meet Godwin for im house. Wen I meet am, im dey burn some leaves for outside, say na rain im dey pursue.
"E get pipo wey get burial, wey bin don give me work say make I pursue rain," im tok. "But as e be say you wan put me to test, I go bring small rain down wey no go last".
As I present di items wey I cari come give am, na so im come begin voke, come tell im assistant to quench di fire so dat we go begin go di shrine for di remaining part.
According to wetin im tell me, di fire wey im dey burn dey pursue di rain. Wen di fire stop to dey burn, rain go fall.
As we dey comot for im compound, na im we see one area guy wey im head no too correct. Im just stand for one corner dey look us.
Na raining season be dis and e no dey hard for rain to fall. But on dis particular day, sun bin dey shine but wen I check Google weather report, e say rain go fall later dat day.
By di time wey we reach di shrine wey no too far from di house, pipo don hear wetin wan happun na so villagers begin follow us. Mama, papa and small pikin dem follow us for back as di rain maker dey for front wit di white cloth im wear for bodi and tie for head.
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Di shrine na two trees wey tall well-well, wey dem tie rope and some cloth wey get yellow and red colour. Empty bottles of gin scata for ground and some kain oda tins wey I no sabi.
Na so im come begin conjure, dey voke, dey nack im ogene to bring rain down. Noting. No drop.
Pipo stand dey watch, we too keep camera for up. Noting. Im do am reach 45 minutes, still no rain. Na so im stop. By dis time, pipo don begin waka dey go dia house.
Di rainmaker come ask im assistant to go check wetin dey happun for im house. Wen dat one come back, na so e tell im oga say dat guy wey we bin see as we dey comot for di compound, later go start di fire back. So as di rainmaker dey voke for shrine to bring rain, di man wey im head no correct dey put fire to pursue rain. Kasala.
Las, las, our rainmaker Godwin cari vex begin go back house. Na so villagers too go back dia house. But we no go anywia, we still tanda for shrine to wait until di two hours wey we give am, expire.
Wen we wait reach like one hour thirty minutes and no sign of rain, na im we begin pack equipment to waka comot di area. Na so breeze begin blow.
E start small small, begin shake di cassava leaves wey dey di area, den di palm trees dem too begin shake bodi. Na dat time we look up, see say cloud don gada.
Sharp-sharp, we comot equipment for bag, point camera for sky begin feem again. Di rain don come.
E last for five minutes before e stop. Di rain no heavy, but na di type wey fit wet ground.
Pipo go believe wetin dem go believe. Wetin I see dat day na say rain true-true fall.
Weda na rainmaker bring am down abi na natural tin wey bin wan happun, I no fit tok.